Today we’re sharing an excerpt from our new study, Advent: The Weary World Rejoices. Order your copy or see a free sample today at Lifeway.com/AdventStudy. We’ve also included some fun, free downloads at the end of this post to celebrate this new study!
Our world has been weary since Genesis 3. You feel it. I feel it. The writers of the hymn and the writers of the Old Testament felt it. We’re weary of the darkness, the pain, the doubt, the fear. We stand waiting.
The writers of the Old Testament knew, though, that the wait would not last forever. Even in the midst of waiting, the thrill of hope sustained them. They could rejoice because they trusted in their hope of a promise—the promise of the Messiah, the Light of the world.
They waited with hope. The weary world waited while brothers killed one another, while men walked on the earth for hundreds of years, while generation after generation died. They waited as they witnessed the entire earth covered in water, wiping out every living creature except a handful of the faithful. They waited, however impatiently, while trying to take matters into their own hands—they attempted to become their own saviors, building towers into heaven.
The world nodded along hearing a promise tinged with familiarity as God vowed to make Abraham into a great nation. Our forefathers waited as they obeyed God’s commands to go to unfamiliar lands. They waited through famine, through slavery, through wandering, through wars.
While the wars raged and seemed never-ending, God’s people looked to heaven and asked, “How long? How long must we wait for your promise to be fulfilled?” God granted them kings in their waiting, pointing to the King who was coming. He gave words to their prophets, promising again and again: the Light will come.
And they waited. They waited as the darkness grew, as the light seemed to flicker out. They waited in darkness, in silence.
And they hoped.
Here and now, we stand waiting and hoping as well. We stand on the other side of the time line. We look back at the first Advent, toward the second one. We are waiting on the Messiah to return, to defeat the enemy, to drive back the darkness once and for all. We are waiting for all things to be made new. We are waiting on the hope of the promise to be fulfilled.
We have the privilege of knowing the full story. We know the promised Messiah came to earth, He died for the sins of the world, and He is risen, conquering death and darkness, pain, doubt, and fear. He is our “thrill of hope.” He is the reason this “weary world rejoices.”
Want to learn more about this new study? View this free sample or learn more at Lifeway.com/AdventStudy.
And here are some fun wallpapers for your desktop and phone! Click the images below to download!